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Garrison, Jim 
The Inquest 

page 1 of 15 

Jim Garrison 

The Inquest 
William W. Turner 
Rampart June 1967 

Grand conspiracies need not be grand. There need be only a few central figures in a 
position to manipulate, wheedle, dupe, blackmail, and buy the bit actors. This is the 
theory of New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison as applied to the assassination 
of President Kennedy. "The people who engineered the killing of one of the finest 
Presidents we ever had are walking around today," he declares. "Not to do anything 
about it is un-American." 

The Louisiana populist can hardly be accused of disloyalty. He has, he claims, 
discovered who killed Kennedy, who organized the plot, and what forces were involved 
in planning the various steps that led to the assassination. And he has done all this 
against formidable odds. He has been denounced and ridiculed by such columnists as 
Bob Considine, Jim Bishop and Victor Reisel. The press has, for the most part, slanted 
its coverage of his investigation to imply motives of personal glory and political gain. 
The government Establishment has given him the cold shoulder, and the FBI, which 
"cleared" two of his present suspects immediately following the assassination, refused to 
release its information to him. 

The truth, according to Garrison, is certain to rock the republic as it gradually 
unfolds in court. He is convinced that Lee Harvey Oswald was not a triggerman, and 
that Jack Ruby was the puppet of a more sophisticated master. He is equally sure that 
the working level of the conspiracy was composed of rabid anti-Castro exiles in league 
with elements of the American paramilitary right. The concerted Establishment effort to 
confine the events of the assassination to Oswald and Ruby suggests the Garrison thesis: 
a vertically integrated plot rising step by step into high echelons of government and the 
military-industrial complex. "Honorable men did in Caesar," dryly observes the 
prosecutor with a fondness for historical metaphor. 

Thus far, the dramatis personae of Garrison's terse drama have been wildly 
disparate. On February 22 of this year, after preliminary, lengthy questioning by the 
DA's office and shortly before he was to be arrested by Garrison and charged with 
conspiracy to assassinate Kennedy, David William Ferrie was found dead in his 
cluttered New Orleans apartment. 

The second major figure in Garrison's probe is 54-year-old Clay L. Shaw, retired 
executive director of the New Orleans International Trade Mart. Charged with 
conspiracy by Garrison, he is now awaiting trial. 

A third individual expected to figure prominently in the Garrison inquiry is 
Manuel Garcia Gonzales. The New Orleans DA has come into possession of a 
photograph taken at Dealey Plaza just before the assassination which shows several 
Latin men behind the low picket fence at the top of the famed grassy knoll. Most Warren 
Report critics believe one or more shots were fired from the grassy knoll area, and 

Garrison, Jim 
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Garrison thinks Gonzales is one of the men in the photograph. Gonzales has 
disappeared and has probably fled the country. 

Oswald? In Garrison's book he was nothing more than a "decoy and a fall guy." 

A Guide to the CIA's New Orleans 

David Ferrie was gesticulating furiously as he poured out his scheme. 
"Triangulation ... the availability of exit ... one man had to be sacrificed to give the other 
one or two gunmen time to escape." Leon Oswald listened impassively. So did Clay 
Bertrand, a tall, courtly, older man with close-cropped white hair. Bertrand, smartly 
attired in a maroon jacket, looked out of place with his carelessly dressed companions in 
the disarray of Feme's apartment. 

This was the scene on or about September 16, 1963, as described recently in a 
New Orleans courtroom by Perry Raymond Russo, Jim Garrison's star witness to date, 
who had been present in the Ferrie apartment on that fateful night. An articulate young 
insurance salesman for Equitable Life and a graduate of Jesuit Loyola University, Russo 
had passed, for what it is worth, a series of Sodium Pentothal ("truth serum") tests 
administered by medical experts. His story was sufficiently impressive to cause the 
three-judge panel to bind over Clay Shaw, whom Russo identified as Clay Bertrand, for 
trial in the assassination of the President. 

Following Feme's rapid-fire dissertation, said Russo, the talk switched to escape. 
Ferrie declared in favor of a flight to Brazil with a refueling stop in Mexico, or a more 
risky hop directly to Cuba. (It is a source of puzzlement why Ferrie would want to go to 
Cuba, given his anti-Castro stance.) Bertrand disagreed, on the grounds that word of the 
assassination would spread too fast to permit a long flight. "Shut up and leave him 
alone," interjected Leon Oswald, whom Russo says was Lee Harvey Oswald, "he's the 
pilot." "A washed-up pilot," huffed Bertrand, alluding to Ferrie's dismissal from Eastern 
Air Lines for homosexual convictions. 

From the conversation, Russo deduced that none of the three intended to 
participate actively in the assassination. Ferrie suggested they "should be in the public 
eye" on the day of the attempt; he himself would make a speech at a nearby college. 
Bertrand said he would go to the west coast on business. Oswald said nothing. 

Clay Shaw was indeed on the west coast on business on November 22. Two weeks 
previously, his manager at the New Orleans Trade Mart had written the San Francisco 
Trade Mart that Shaw would be passing through on that date and would like to discuss 
mutual interests with their executives. At the moment when Kennedy was killed, Shaw 
was conferring with the San Francisco men. 

Ferrie also had an alibi, of sorts. A New Orleans attorney is fairly certain that on 
that black Friday, the eccentric little man was in his law office around 12:15 P- m - Ferrie 
contended he was in New Orleans until late in the afternoon, when he and his two young 
roommates left on an impromptu trip to Texas to "hunt geese." On the surface it was a 
wild goose chase: the trio drove to Houston on Friday, to Galveston on Saturday, and 
returned to New Orleans on Sunday - over 1,000 miles. But Garrison has witnesses who 
swear that Ferrie spent several hours at a Houston skating rink waiting by the 
telephone. It was a curious junket at a curious time, so curious that Garrison, on his own 
initiative, arrested and held the three for FBI investigation of "subversive activity." 

Garrison charges only that the machinations in Ferrie's apartment set in motion 
events that culminated in the assassination. What direction the substantive plot may 

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have taken from there is hinted at in the further testimony of Russo. He had met Ferrie, 
he said, some four years earlier through Civil Air Patrol activity, and frequently was 
invited to his apartment. There had been a party before the meeting on the evening in 
question, and Russo had lingered after the rest of the guests. Among the last to leave 
were several Cubans in military fatigues, two of who he recalls by the first names, 
Manuel and a name sounding like Julian. Manuel, Garrison suspects, is the missing 
Manuel Garcia Gonzales. 

The bizarre quality of Ferrie's life followed him into death. After being questioned 
by Garrison, he muttered he did not have long to live. The cause of death, the coroner 
revealed, had been an embolism at the base of the brain induced by hypertension. But a 
brain embolism can also be caused by a deftly administered karate chop to the neck, a 
technique which possibly killed Dallas reporter Jim Koethe, who had participated in an 
enigmatic meeting at Jack Ruby's apartment the night Oswald was murdered [The 
Legacy of Penn Jones Jr., Ramparts, November 1966]. 

An inveterate activist, Ferrie solicited funds for Castro in 1958 then bitterly 
turned against him when he struck his communist colors. According to former Havana 
journalist Diego Gonzales Tendedera, Ferrie flew fire-bomb raids and refugee rescue 
missions to Cuba from Florida in a twin-engine Piper Apache owned by Eladio del Valle, 
an ex-Batista official who had escaped to Miami with considerable wealth. Ferrie 
reportedly was paid $1,000 to $1,500 a mission, depending on the risk involved. The 
caper ended in 1961, when US government agents confiscated the Apache, and Ferrie 
headed for New Orleans. On February 22, the day Ferrie died in New Orleans, del Valle's 
head was split by a powerful blow with a machete or hatchet and he was shot over the 
heart. Miami police, noting that he had been involved in narcotics smuggling, called it a 
gangland slaying. 

After the Bay of Pigs, Ferrie boasted he had taken part in the invasion, and indeed 
it has come to light that a CIA-directed diversionary strike had been launched from a 
hidden base in the New Orleans area. The loquacious pilot was openly hostile to 
President Kennedy for failing to commit American military might against Castro. On 
one occasion a speech he was giving before the New Orleans Chapter of Military Order 
of World Wars turned into a diatribe against Kennedy for a "double-cross" of the 
invasion force. Several members walked out and the chairman abruptly adjourned the 

During this period the conspicuous Ferrie was frequently noticed by the New 
Orleans Cuban colony in the company of Sergio Aracha-Smith, the local director of the 
anti-Castro Cuban Democratic Revolutionary Front. (New Orleans police intelligence 
records reflect, states the Washington Post, that the Front was "legitimate in nature and 
presumably had the unofficial sanction of the Central Intelligence Agency.") The Lake 
Pontchartrain waterfront near Aracha's home seems to have become a locus for 
mysterious meetings. Various Garrison witnesses claim to have seen Ferrie there, as well 
as an exchange of money between Oswald and Shaw. 

By 1963, Aracha apparently had been deposed as Front director, for he had 
moved to Houston in 1962 and was living there at the time of the assassination. In 1964 
he moved to Dallas. When Garrison investigators recently sought to question him, he 
refused to talk without police and Dallas Assistant DA Bill Alexander present. However, 
Garrison secured a warrant charging him with conspiring with Ferrie and one Gordon 

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The Inquest 

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Novel to burglarize an explosive depot of the Schlumberger Well Services Co. near New 
Orleans in August 1961. Aracha is presently free on bond. 

The strange behavior of Gordon Novel lends still another piquant ingredient to 
the case. Shortly after being interrogated by Garrison, he hurriedly sold the French 
Quarter bar he owned and left town. He turned up in McLean, Virginia (headquarters of 
Army intelligence and CIA), blasted the assassination probe as a fraud, and noisily 
submitted to a "private" lie detector test given by a former Army intelligence officer that, 
he said, supported his veracity. In Columbus, Ohio, where he was arrested on a fugitive 
warrant obtained by Garrison, he cryptically stated, "I think Garrison will expose some 
CIA operations in Louisiana." In what he called "his unpublished account of how the 
explosives disappeared," the New Orleans States-Item claims that Novel has told several 
persons that he, Ferrie, Aracha and several Cubans did not steal the munitions but 
transported them to New Orleans at the instruction of their CIA contact just before the 
Bay of Pigs invasion in April 1961. Furthermore, the States-Item says Novel operated a 
CIA front, the Evergreen Advertising Agency, which prepared cryptographical messages 
contained in radio commercials for Christmas trees that alerted agents to the invasion 
date. Novel, however, has denied being a CIA agent. 

The mysterious explosives theft dovetailed with another angle in Garrison's 
investigation - an April 1961 FBI raid that uncovered a large cache of arms, ammunition 
and explosives in a cottage near New Orleans. Garrison's men are seeking a group of 
Cubans said to have accumulated the cache. 

Further CIA aid or comfort for the paramilitary right wing is suggested by the role 
of private eye W. Guy Banister, who with a partner named Hugh F. Ward, ran a private 
sleuthing agency in New Orleans. Both a former FBI official and a former 
superintendent of New Orleans police, Banister was noted for his outspoken 
ultraconservatism. His office, according to a States-Item informant, was one of the 
drops for stolen munitions. In 1963, the ever-present David Ferrie worked 
intermittently for him as an investigator. 

While researching an article on The Minutemen [Ramparts, January 1967], I 
learned from a defector - a Minuteman aide who had access to their headquarters files 
- about an allied group in New Orleans known as the Anti-Communism League of the 
Caribbean. The League was said by the aide to have been used by the CIA in its 
engineering of the 1954 overthrow of the leftist Arbenz government in Guatemala. The 
Minutemen defector said the names of both Banister and Ward appeared in the secret 
Minuteman files as members of the Minutemen and as operatives of the Anti- 
Communism League of the Caribbean. He also divulged that militant anti-Castro Cuban 
exiles were prominent in the Minutemen ranks. 

With these pieces of the puzzle beginning to fit together, Garrison hopes to 
complete the picture. But will get no help from Banister and Ward. Potential witnesses 
to the assassination secrets seem to have a propensity for dying. In 1964, Banister, who 
drank heavily and was given to wild sprees, suddenly died of a heart attack. On May 23, 
1965, Ward, a commercial pilot, was at the controls of a Piper Aztec chartered by former 
New Orleans Mayor de Lesseps Morrison when the craft, engines sputtering, crashed on 
a fog-shrouded hill near Ciudad Victoria, Mexico. All aboard were killed. 

The Paramilitary Operation at Dealey Plaza 

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The Inquest 

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President Kennedy's murder had all the earmarks of a paramilitary operation. 
The Dealey Plaza site was ideal: tall buildings at one end, at the other a grassy knoll 
projecting within a stone's throw of the roadway and covered by foliage. It is the opinion 
of Garrison's investigator's, and of this writer, that the slowly-rolling Presidential 
limousine was trapped in a classic guerrilla ambush - with simultaneous fire converging 
from the knoll and from a multi-storied building. This was the "triangulation," Russo 
said, that David Ferrie had talked about - a sniper in the rear position to divert the 
public's attention while the sniper in front "could fire the shot that would do the job." 

It was, in fact, the frontal fire that did the dreadful job. The explosive head shot 
that snapped the President's head backward and literally blew his brains into the air 
could not have been the effect of a high-velocity rifle bullet fired from the rear - such 
bullets pierce cleanly (a nurse at Parkland Hospital said then when doctors attempted a 
tracheotomy on the President, the damage was so great the tube pushed out the back of 
his head). It was the effect of a nasty hollow-nose mercury fulminate bullet, generally 
known as a "dum dum," which explodes on impact. Although outlawed by the Hague 
Convention, exploding bullets are favored by guerrilla fighters. An ex-CIA agent who 
received paramilitary training from the Agency advises that the CIA supplied this type of 
bullet to the anti-Castro forces it trained. 

The first report of the assassination in the Dallas Times Herald afternoon 
addition - before the Warren Commission's three-shot, "magic bullet" theory was 
proclaimed - read: "Witnesses said six or seven shots were fired." A bullet mark on the 
curb belatedly analyzed by the FBI did not show traces of copper, was would have been 
the case had the bullet been the copper-jacketed type allegedly fired by Oswald. "There 
definitely was a shot fired from behind the fence," insists witness S.M. Holland, 
referring to the partially concealed picket fence on the grassy knoll. Holland, a crusty old 
railroader who was standing on the Triple Underpass towards which the President's 
limousine was heading, is the rare eyewitness who survived both the bamboozling 
tactics of the Warren Commission and Secret Service insistence that he change his story. 

Holland's account is complemented by the testimony of the late Lee Bowers, who 
overlooked the parking lot at the rear of the grassy knoll from his railroad tower. Bowers 
said he saw two out-of-state automobiles and a Texas automobile, apparently equipped 
with a two-way radio, prowling the lot shortly before the assassination. He also noticed 
two men in the lot near the fence; when the shots rang out they were partially obscured 
by the trees, but there was "something out of the ordinary, a sort of milling around." 

Jim Garrison agrees that Oswald "was no Captain Marvel." The DA says: "The 
fatal shots came from the front." In this context Oswald's indignant protest while in 
custody, "I didn't kill anybody ... I'm just a patsy" may prove, after Garrison finishes, to 
be true. 

There is scientific evidence tending to support it. The Dallas police made paraffin 
casts of Oswald's hands and right cheek in order to chemically test for nitrates. Although 
many common substances can deposit nitrates, the blowback from a gun ordinarily 
deposits an appreciable amount. The test showed positive reactions for both hands; a 
negative reaction for the cheek. 

Ordinarily, a right-handed man who has shot both a pistol and a rifle, as Oswald 
was accused of doing, would have nitrates on the right hand and cheek. Most likely the 
source of the nitrates on Oswald's hands was fingerprint ink - he had been finger and 
palm printed before the paraffin was applied. 

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The Inquest 

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Moreover, the FBI subjected the casts to Nuclear Activation Analysis, a relatively 
new technique, so sensitive it can detect a thimbleful of acid in a tankard of water. 
Deposits on the casts, the FBI reported, "could not be specifically associated with the 
rifle cartridges," but ballistics expert Cortlandt Cunningham did not view the result as 
exculpating Oswald. "A rifle chamber is tightly sealed," he testified, "and so by its very 
nature, I would not expect to find residue on the right cheek of the shooter." 

This explanation seemed so plausible I contacted Dr. Vincent Guinn of General 
Atomics in San Diego, who pioneered the development of the NAA process. He said that 
he and Raymond Pinker of the Los Angeles police crime lab were also curious about the 
test, and ordered an Italian Carcano rifle such as Oswald supposedly fired. They fired 
the obsolete weapon, which some authorities think is liable to blow up, and tested their 
cheeks. Nitrates from the blowback were present in abundance. 

Lee Harvey Oswald 

Another component of the Garrison theory is that Oswald was not a dedicated 
communist at all, but an agent of the CIA who may have been trained at the Agency's 
facility at Atsugi Air Force Base in Japan in 1959. He was a revolutionary looking for a 
revolution - any revolution - and he found a cause with the CIA-sponsored paramilitary 
right wing planning the overthrow of Castro. 

The paramilitary right wing is composed of numerous factions over which the 
Minutemen exert a loose hegemony. It is cross-pollinized with Birchers, Klanners, 
States Righters and volatile Cuban anti-Castroites. 

It is within this context that the blurred activities of Oswald in the months prior 
to the assassination come into sharper focus. His fawning attempts to insinuate himself 
into the confidence of the radical left were a subterfuge. He wrote the national offices of 
the Communist Party of America, the Socialist Workers Party, and the Fair Play for 
Cuba Committee offering his services locally. And he handed out "Hands Off Cuba" 
literature on the streets, a sure way of typing himself publicly. But he was not always 
meticulous. One set of the "Hands Off Cuba" pro-Castro handbills bore the address 544 
Camp St., New Orleans, a building occupied at that time by the right wing Cuban 
Democratic Revolutionary Front and W. Guy Banister. 

The testimony of New Orleans attorney Dean A. Andrews Jr. to the Warren 
Commission forges another link between Oswald and Clay Bertrand, who, Garrison 
contends, is Clay Shaw. Andrews, a Falstaffian figure with a flair for colorful language, 
ran a kind of turnstile law practice in which he secured the release of "gay swishers" 
arrested in police dragnets. Most of these clients were young Latins, he said, and most 
were steered to him by a "lawyer without a briefcase" whom he identified as Clay 
Bertrand. Andrews operated in an appallingly casual style. He hardly ever recorded the 
names of his clients, and although he had seen Bertrand once, he knew him mostly as "a 
voice on the phone." 

In the summer of 1963, Bertrand referred Lee Harvey Oswald, who consulted 
Andrews about getting his "yellow paper discharge" rectified and his Russian wife's 
citizenship status straightened out. A stocky Mexican with a menacing air accompanied 
Oswald to the lawyer's office. 

The day after the assassination Andrews received a phone call from Clay Bertrand 
asking if he would go to Dallas and defend Oswald. Andrews was in the hospital 

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recuperating from an illness and could not leave immediately. The next morning Oswald 
was dead. 

The FBI went right to work on Andrews. "You can tell when the steam is on," he 
recounted to Wesley Liebeler of the Commission. "They never leave. They are like 
cancer. Eternal.'" After several unpleasant sessions, he let the G-men put words in his 
mouth. "You finally came to the conclusion that Clay Bertrand was a figment of your 
imagination?" asked Liebeler. "That's what the Feebees [FBI] put on," allowed Andrews. 

But a few months later Andrews encountered Bertrand, "a swinging cat," in a 
"little freaky joint" - Cosimo's bar in the French Quarter. "I was trying to get past him so 
I could get a nickel in the phone and call the Feebees," Andrews told Liebler. "But he 
saw me and spooked and ran. I haven't seen him since." 

Mark Lane, the energetic destroyer of Warren Report myths, was impressed with 
Andrews' candid testimony. Two years ago he called the voluble attorney and arranged 
to see him. But by the time Lane got to New Orleans, Andrews had clammed up. "I'll 
take you to dinner," he apologized, "but I can't talk about the case. I called Washington 
and they told me if I said anything I might get a bullet in the head ..." 

Andrews has been no more helpful to Garrison. Hailed before the grand jury 
hearing Garrison's case, the once cocksure attorney exuded equivocation. "I cannot say 
positively that he [Clay Shaw] is Clay Bertrand or he is not ... the voice I recall is 
somewhat similar to this cat's voice, but his voice has overtones ... Clay Bertrand's is a 
deep, cultured, well-educated voice - he don't talk like me, he used the King's English 
..." The jury felt Andrews might have done better, and indicted him for perjury. 

The courageous testimony of Mrs. Sylvia Odio further documents Oswald's 
involvement with the paramilitary right wing. Mrs. Odio, an aristocratic Cuban refugee 
whose parents are still imprisoned on the Isles of Pines for contributing to Manolo Ray's 
anti-Castro JURE organization, immediately after the assassination volunteered the fact 
that in late September 1963, she was paid an unannounced visit by two Latins and a 
man she identified as Oswald. The Latins, who claimed to represent a nascent anti- 
Castro group, introduced themselves by their "war names": Leopoldo and "something 
like Angelo." They called Oswald by the name of Leon Oswald, an interesting point in 
view of Perry Russo's assertion that he knew Oswald as Leon. Leopoldo, the spokesman, 
said they were soliciting aid "to buy arms for Cuba and to help overthrow the dictator 
Castro." He confided they had just arrived from New Orleans and were leaving shortly 
"on a trip." 

Mrs. Odio was noncommittal. The next day, in an obvious attempt to win her 
over, Leopoldo telephoned and spoke in raptures of Leon, the American, Mrs. Odio 
testified to the Commission. Leon was an ex-Marine, he enthused, "He is great, he is 
kind of nuts. He told us we don't have any guts, you Cubans, because President Kennedy 
should have been assassinated after the Bay of Pigs ... It is so easy to do. He has told us." 

When Mrs. Odio became upset at the assassination talk, Leopoldo switched 
tactics. He touted Leon as an expert shot but "kind of loco," he would be the kind of man 
who "could do anything like getting underground in Cuba, like killing Castro." 

Within hours of his visit to Mrs. Odio, Oswald was headed for Mexico City, and 
Garrison has not overlooked the possibility he tried to obtain a visa at the Cuban 
embassy there in order to get into Cuba to assassinate Castro. Such a ploy would have 
had reasonable expectation of success. Indeed, under "remarks" on his visa application, 
Oswald carefully noted he was a member of the American Communist Party, secretary of 

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the New Orleans Fair Play for Cuba chapter, and a former resident of the Soviet Union. 
Only the last was true, and the embassy, possibly leery of his pretentions, refused to 
waive the normal waiting period. Oswald left in a huff. 

The Commission insisted the matter be further explored. Dallas police files 
disclosed that about three weeks after the visit to Mrs. Odio, two anti-Castro activists, 
Loran Eugene Hall and William Seymour, had been briefly detained. Hall had attracted 
the cops' attention with his full beard, a suspicious sign in All -American Dallas. 

It was not until September 1964 that the G-men finally located Hall in Los 
Angeles. He readily admitted training with would-be Cuban invasion forces in the 
Florida Keys with Seymour and a third man, Lawrence Howard Jr. And he 
acknowledged approaching a Mrs. Odio, whose apartment he correctly located on 
Magellan Circle, "to ask her assistance in the movement." Seymour and Howard 
accompanied him, he said, but he denied knowing Oswald. 

Howard confirmed to the FBI that he was with Hall in Dallas in late September 
1963, along with a Cuban refugee from Miami, not Seymour. But he disclaimed not only 
knowing Oswald, but visiting Mrs. Odio as well. 

Seymour frankly admitted training in the Florida Keys and the October arrest by 
the Dallas police. But he was at work in Miami in late September, he said, and 
employment records corroborated his alibi. By this time the FBI was baffled. It had 
conveyed to the Warren Commission the impression that Seymour resembled Oswald 
and may have been mistakenly identified by Mrs. Odio. And the Commission had 
inserted this dollop in its Report just before it went to press. 

An anti-Castro "freedom fighter" well acquainted with both Hall and Howard 
contends they trained not only in Florida at No Name Key but at bases in the vicinity of 
New Orleans. He told me the pair was closely associated with Guy Gabaldon, an ex- 
Marine who in 1961 attempted to organize a private army in Southern California to 
invade Cuba but was dissuaded by state authorities. Gabaldon, who single-handedly 
wiped out a squad of Japanese in World War II and was portrayed in the movie "From 
Hell to Eternity," subsequently launched a fund-raising "Drive Against Communist 
Aggression" in which he stumped the right-wing banquet circuit fulminating against 

Sylvia Odio, now living in Puerto Rico, still insists the Warren Report was wrong. 
And the trail she pointed out is being followed by Garrison. 

Ramparts' investigation indicates that the trail is not a dead end. When Hall and 
Seymour were arrested by the Dallas police in October 1963, it was notated that they 
were "active in the anti-Castro movement ... Committee to Free Cuba." Such an 
organization does exist, and at his famous midnight press conference after Kennedy was 
killed, Dallas DA Henry Wade blurted out, "Oswald is a member of the Free Cuba 
Committee," and was quickly corrected by Jack Ruby, "No, he is a member of the Fair 
Play for Cuba Committee." 

A Freudian slip? Probably, for unnoticed in the Warren Report's mass of 
miscellany is a "Supplementary Investigation Report" prepared by Buddy Walthers, one 
of Dallas Sheriff Bill Decker's promising young understudies. Dated the day after the 
assassination, it states: "... I talked to Sorrels the head of the Dallas Secreat [sic] Service. 
I advised that for the past few months at a house at 3128 Harlendale some Cubans had 
been having meetings on the weekends and were possably [sic] connected with the 
'Freedom For Cuba Party' of which Oswald was a member." 

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On November 26, Walthers plaintively added: "I don't know what action the 
secret service has taken but I learned today that sometime between seven days before 
the president was shot and the day after he was shot these Cubans moved from this 
house. My informant stated that subject Oswald had been to this house before." 

So Oswald was associated with liberation movement Cubans who inexplicably 
departed Dallas at the crucial time. A glance at a Dallas map reveals the house on 
Harlendale to be in South Oak Cliff, in the direction Oswald was heading when he left 
his rooming house after the assassination. Nothing in the record indicates the Secret 
Service evidenced the least bit of interest in this startling intelligence. 

Red Oswald and the White Russians 

A former CIA agent with whom I have consulted discloses that at the very least, 
the Agency would have assigned Oswald a "babysitter" - someone who would befriend 
him and thus keep an eye on him. When the Oswalds settled in the Dallas-Ft. Worth 
area - they had indicated this intention to the American embassy in Moscow months 
before their departure - they were readily assimilated into the White Russian colony. 
Their Red taint, normally anathema to White Russians, seemed to be inconsequential. A 
man named George DeMohrenschildt and his wife became their most attentive 
Samaritans - as Marina Oswald put it, "our best friends in Dallas." 

It was an incongruous relationship. George DeMohrenschildt is a haughty 
Russian emigre who travels in high-rolling financial circles and a rarefied social 
stratum. An erstwhile financial partner asserts he "was an excellent conversationalist, 
played fine tennis and was an expert horseman." By incredible coincidence, he is an old 
friend of Janet Bouvier Auchincloss, Jacqueline Kennedy's mother, and used to play 
tennis on the Bouvier estate at East Hampton, Long Island. He came to Dallas shortly 
before the Oswalds, and opened an office as a petroleum geologist. He joined the swank 
Dallas Petroleum Club and hobnobbed with Texas' oil elite. Jeanne DeMohrenschildt 
was born in China of White Russian parents, and is well-known as a ladies' fashion 
designer. This was the couple that befriended nondescript Lee Harvey Oswald and his 
dowdy Russian wife. 

It was DeMohrenschildt who sought out the Oswalds. How he learned of their 
presence is one of the more mysterious aspects of the case. "I had to go on business to 
Fort Worth with my very close friend, Colonel Orlov," he told the Warren Commission. 
"And I told him let's go and meet those people, and the two of us drove to this slum area 
in Fort Worth and knocked at the door, and there was Marina and the baby ..." 

On April 13, 1963, shortly after someone had taken a rifle shot at General Edwin 
Walker in his Dallas home, the DeMohrenschildts dropped in on the Oswalds in their 
new Dallas flat. Jeanne DeMohrenschildt noticed a rifle in a closet and commented on 
it. George, she related to the Commission, teasingly asked Oswald, "Did you take a pot 
shot at Walker by any chance?" Later the Commission, relying largely on Marina's 
hearsay evidence that Lee had taken the shot, solemnly declared that the act 
"established his propensity to kill." 

The couples never saw each other again after this incident. A week later Oswald 
left for New Orleans, followed by Marina. Days later the DeMohrenschildts went to New 
York City and, in early June, to Haiti on a business venture. The story of how they came 
to go to Haiti - and in fact the whole DeMohrenschildt saga - is almost more bizarre 
than the fictions of the Warren Commission. 

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The saga takes form from the FBI background investigation. There emerges a 
brilliant, eccentric individualist of ambivalent political views. One FBI source described 
DeMohrenschildt as a brutal man with "a Prussian personality." A 1942 report of a 
government security agency discloses he was suspected of being a Nazi agent but some 
of his current friends termed him "definitely socialistic but not communistic." The 
Bureau found that he was "widely known in White Russian circles in New York City and 
Dallas," and listed restaurateur Serge Oblensky and Boston Bank head Serge Semenko 
as intimate acquaintances. 

DeMohrenschildt reminisced before the Commission that he "traveled" in Cuba 
before Castro, during the Batista days," on oil exploration trips. In 1957 and 1958 he 
traveled to Yugoslavia and Ghana as a geological consultant in the pay of the US State 
Department. His personal fortunes seem to have alternated: at times he claimed 
$300,000 in assets, at times he was nearly broke. 

In late i960, during an ebb period, he and Jeanne embarked on an eight-month 
walking trip from the Texas-Mexico border to the Panama Canal. In one of those 
recurrent coincidences that mark the man, they arrived at Guatemala City at the precise 
time the Bay of Pigs expeditionary force was leaving Guatemalan shores. He submitted a 
full written report on his hiking trip to the US government. 

On the trip, the story goes, DeMohrenschildt met some Haitian officials and 
promoted a contract to make a geological survey of Haiti for $260,000. "The Haitian 
government could not pay him his fee in cash," an informant stated to the FBI, "so they 
worked out an arrangement whereby George would take over a sisal plantation in Haiti, 
which would be given to him ... and take his $260,000 fee out of the profits." 

On the occasion of a recent Dallas visit, DeMohrenschildt told the Dallas Times 
Herald that when he learned that an assassination suspect had been captured he asked 
if the name was Oswald. "It was subconscious, a sort of flash and came probably from 
knowing that Oswald had a gun," he is quoted as saying. 

Jack Ruby 

"Joe, you should know this," Jack Ruby scribbled furtively to his attorney, Joe 
Tonahill. "Tom Howard [his first attorney who died in 1965] told me to say that I shot 
Oswald so that Caroline and Mrs. Kennedy wouldn't have to come to Dallas to testify. 
OK?" "I don't think he loved Kennedy that much," opined Jada, one of his exotic 
dancers. "I believe he disliked Bobby Kennedy." Sherri Lynn, another showgirl who had 
known Ruby for 15 years, thought differently: "A dollar means everything to Jack Ruby 
and he is the type of person would do anything for money." 

In February 1964, as his provocative background began to surface, two Ruby 
specialists on the Commission staff wrote to the CIA: "It is possible that Ruby could 
have been utilized by a politically motivated group either upon the promise of money or 
because of the influential character of the individual approaching Ruby." 

The letter to the CIA outlined intriguing facets of Ruby's activities: "Ruby has 
very carefully cultivated friendships with police officers and other public officials ... At 
the same time, he was, peripherally, if not directly connected with members of the 
underworld ... Ruby also is rumored to have been the tip-off man between the Dallas 
police and the Dallas underworld ... Ruby operated his businesses on a cash basis, 
keeping no record whatsoever - a strong indication that Ruby himself was involved in 
illicit operations of some sort ... His primary technique in avoiding prosecution was the 

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maintenance of friendship with police officers, public officials, and other influential 
persons in the Dallas community." 

Nor did the letter ignore Ruby's affinity for Cuba. "In about 1959, Ruby became 
interested in the possibility of selling war materials to Cubans and in the possibility of 
opening a gambling casino in Havana." The pushy entrepreneur's continuing interest in 
Cuba was discussed. CIA, instructed the Commission staffers, should consider the 
possibility of "ties between Ruby and others who might have been interested in the 
assassination of President Kennedy." The specifically mentioned a number of people 
thought to know Ruby, including former Havana gambler Lewis J. McWillie, a Birch 
Society official, and oilmen H.L. and Lamar Hunt. 

For months the CIA was silent. When finally dunned by the Commission it simply 
said that its files contained "no information on Jack Ruby or his activities" or any link 
with Oswald. The reply came after the Commission had concluded its deliberations. 

"There is much more to Ruby than meets the eye," attests one of Garrison's chief 
sleuths, Louis Gurvich. Garrison has produced a former Dallas cab driver, Raymond 
Cummings, who is prepared to testify he twice drove Oswald to Ruby's Carousel Club, 
once in the company of David Ferrie. 

There already exists a body of evidence tying Oswald to Ruby. For example, there 
is Wilbryn Waldon "Bob" Litchfield II, who claimed he saw Oswald waiting to see Ruby 
at the club a month before the assassination. Litchfield was waiting to see Ruby himself, 
and accurately described a third man - whose presence has been verified. 

There is also Carroll Jarnigan, an attorney reputed to have a photographic 
memory. In a voluntary statement to the FBI, Jarnagin told of overhearing an ear- 
pricking colloquy between Oswald and Rub in the Carousel Club the night of October 4, 
1963. The gist of it was that Oswald was to be hired to assassinate Texas Governor John 
Connally with a rifle from a high building. Bobby Kennedy had clamped down on racket 
activity in Chicago and Castro had ousted the American gamblers from Cuba. The 
reasoning was that if the straight-laced Connally could be eliminated, Texas, which is 
"right next to Mexico," could be opened up and "there'd be money for everybody." 

Jarnigan's testimony was discounted by the Warren Commission, largely on the 
strength of a lie detector test given by DA Henry Wade. The result, claimed Wade, was 
that Jarnagin was sincere but his story "fanciful" - a determination well beyond the 
capacity of a polygraph. 

Ruby's gangster links are well established, and his connection with one Paul 
Rolland Jones is a story in itself. Jones averred he had been introduced to Ruby in 
Chicago in the late 1940s by several syndicate hoods, and later got to know Jack and his 
sister Eva, who ran the Singapore Club in Dallas, quite well. He had come to Dallas as an 
emissary of the mob to negotiate "a piece of the action." 

He approached then-sheriff Steve Guthrie and an obscure lieutenant on the 
police force, George Butler, to arrange for protection. The two pretended to play along, 
then sprung a trap on Jones and charged him with bribery. Butler became a hero of 
sorts, and was tapped to assist the Kefauver Committee in its 1950 rackets hearings. But 
Jones told the FBI he believes Butler was at first in earnest and wanted a payoff, 
desisting only when he learned the Texas Rangers were wise to the negotiations. 

Butler is still a lieutenant, working out of the juvenile bureau. The assignment 
seemingly permits him leeway for his activities as the self -professed leader of extreme 
right-elements on the force. In 1961, while in rural Midlothian, Texas, to make an anti- 

Garrison, Jim 
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communist speech, he offered Penn Jones Jr., the scrappy editor of the Midlothian 
Mirror, the opportunity to print a statewide newspaper under the auspices of the Ku 
Klux Klan. He boasted, Jones says, that on half of the police force belonged to the KKK. 
He frequently escorts H.L. Hunt to various public engagements. 

It was Lt. George Butler who was in overall charge of the transfer of Oswald on 
November 24 and who gave the "all clear" to bring the prisoner into the basement. 

Early in 1959, when Castro came to power, Ruby looked covetously to Cuba. He 
made overtures to sell surplus jeeps to the Cuban premier, and tried to wangle a letter of 
introduction from a known Castro partisan in Houston. Late in 1959 he visited gambler 
Lewis McWillie in Havana on what he later called a "purely social" trip. While there he 
boasted to at least two US citizens that he was "in with both sides." Most prominent of 
the anti-Castroites whose friendship he claimed was Rolando Masferrer, a Batista 

Ruby's Cuba interests and crime syndicate connections converge in the testimony 
of Nancy Perrin Rich, a fast-living young lady four times around the marriage cycle and 
a one-time police informant. In 1962, she arrived in Dallas on the heels of her then 
husband, Robert Perrin, who at various times had been a bodyguard to top hoodlums, a 
narcotics smuggler and a gunrunner to Franco during the Spanish Civil War. Perrin had 
plenty of police pals, and a detective promptly got her a job hustling drinks in Jack 
Ruby's club. 

The job didn't last long. When Ruby shoved her against the bar, the strong-willed 
Nancy stormed out and filed assault charges against him, but was "persuaded" by the 
Dallas cops to drop them. She saw Ruby again - in an apartment where she and Robert 
Perrin had gone to firm up a deal to run military supplies and Enfield rifles to Cuban 
insurgents. There was some hitch in the money arriving when, she related, "I had the 
shock of my life ... A knock comes on the door and who walks in but my little friend Jack 
Ruby. And you could have knocked me over with a feather ... and everybody looks like 
this, you know, a big smile - like here comes the Savior." 

Ruby evidently was the bag man, because Perrin's cut was upped to $15,000. But 
Nancy scotched the deal because "I smelled an element that I did not want to have any 
part of." The element, she elucidated, was organized crime. A man had showed up whom 
she took to be a relative of syndicate chieftain Vito Genovese. Running scared, she and 
Perrin moved from city to city, but he finally headed for New Orleans alone. He died 
there of arsenic poisoning. The arsenic was "voluntarily consumed," the coroner 

In his Whitewash II, Harold Weisberg does some expert collating. In the course 
of his FBI interview, Rev. Walter J. McChann, a priest who ministered to the Cuban 
exile community in Dallas, remarked that there was a retired Army colonel named 
Castor who he felt was "playing the role of an intelligence officer" in his contacts with 
the Cubans. And an interview with Mrs. C. L. Connell, a volunteer assistant of the Dallas 
Cuban Relief Committee, contains the opinion that "General Edwin A. Walker and 
Colonel (FNU) Caster, a close acquaintance of Walker, have been trying to arouse the 
feelings of the Cuban refugees, in Dallas, against the Kennedy administration." 

There is one more loose end to the Nancy Perrin Rich story: the Vito Genovese 
relative she thought was involved in the deal. Buried in the Warren Report is an FBI 
account of a tip that Ruby was present at a party in a Dallas apartment two nights before 
the assassination at which Joe F. Frederici, identified as "a nephew of Vito Genovese," 

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page 13 of 15 

was also present. The tipster said that Frederici and his wife Sandy were to leave the 
next day "for New Jersey or someplace in the East." Provocative - and, as far as the 
record is concerned, unresolved. 

What the record does show, however, is that organized crime has been implicated 
in smuggling war material to the Caribbean. A case brought before the McClellan Anti- 
Racketeering Committee of the Senate by Robert Kennedy in 1959 involves a plot 
allegedly masterminded by Michael Genovese, Vito's son, and another man, and 
financed in part by Teamster's funds obtained by Louis "Babe" Triscaro, boss of a Miami 
local. A surplus Air Force Globemaster was to airlift tons of arms and ammunition to 
Cuba via the Dominican Republic. At the last minute Miami customs agents, who had 
feigned taking bribes to look the other way, closed in and seized the plane and cargo. 

What is known of Jack Ruby's activities in the period encompassing the 
assassination only heightens the mystery surround him. The party he reportedly 
attended was Wednesday night. As for the real story, a Secret Service report synopsizes: 
"Numerous witnesses identify Jack Leon Rubenstein alias Jack Ruby, as being in 
Houston, Texas on November 21, for several hours, one block from the President's 
entrance route and from the Rice Hotel where he stayed." But the Dallas Secret Service, 
going on the recollections of several persons who vaguely place in town that day, just as 
flatly ruled out a quickie trip to Houston. 

Ruby has gone out in a blaze of ambiguity, ranting about a pogrom against the 
Jews and intimating Lyndon Johnson harbors dark secrets. The government, if it ever 
wanted the truth, lost its chance when Chief Justice Earl Warren declined to have Ruby 
removed to Washington for questioning. "I want to tell the truth," Ruby had implore, 
"and I can't tell it here." 

Cui Bono? 

The day after the assassination, Gary Underhill left Washington in a hurry. Late 
in the evening he showed up at the home of friends in New Jersey. He was very agitated. 
A small clique within the CIA was responsible for the assassination, he confided, and he 
was afraid for his life and probably would have to leave the country. Less than six 
months later Underhill was found shot to death in his Washington apartment. The 
coroner ruled it suicide. 

J. Garrett Underhill had been an intelligence agent during World War II and was 
a recognized authority on limited warfare and small arms. A researcher and writer on 
military affairs, he was on a first-name basis with many of the top brass in the Pentagon. 
He was also on intimate terms with a number of high ranking CIA officials - he was one 
of the Agency's "un-people" who performed special assignments. At one time he had 
been a friend of Samuel Cummings of Interarmco, the arms broker that numbers its 
customers the CIA and, ironically, Klein's Sporting Goods of Chicago, from whence the 
mail order Carcano allegedly was purchased by Oswald. 

The friends whom Underhill visited say he was sober but badly shook. They say 
he attributed the Kennedy murder to a CIA clique which was carrying on a lucrative 
racket in gun-running, narcotics and other contraband, and manipulating political 
intrigue to serve its own ends. Kennedy supposedly got wind that something was going 
on and was killed before he could "blow the whistle on it." Although the friends had 
always known Underhill to be perfectly rational and objective, they at first didn't take 
his account seriously. "I think the main reason was," explains the husband, "that we 

Garrison, Jim 
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page 14 of 15 

couldn't believe that the CIA could contain a corrupt element every bit as ruthless - and 
more efficient - as the Mafia." 

The verdict of suicide in Underbill's death is by no means convincing. His body 
was found by a writing collaborator, Asher Brynes of the New Republic. He had been 
shot behind the left ear, and an automatic pistol was under his left side. Odd, say 
Brynes, because Underhill was right-handed. Brynes thinks the pistol was fitted with a 
silencer, and occupants of the apartment building could not recall hearing a shot. 
Underhill obviously had been dead several days. 

Gary Underbill's chilling story is hardly implausible. As a spy apparatus the CIA 
is honeycombed with self-sustained cliques operating without any real central control. 
The hand of the CIA has materialized repeatedly in Jim Garrison's investigation, and he 
has implicated anti-Castro Cuban factions aligned with the American paramilitary right 
- both of which have been utilized by the CIA in its machinations to overthrow Castro. 
The ex-CIA agent with whom I talked declares that even after the Bay of Pigs debacle, 
the CIA continued to cherish its pipe dream of sponsoring an invasion of Cuba, and 
continued to secretly train Cuban exiles at it paramilitary base in Virginia. Such 
bootlegging was directly counter to the Kennedy administration's policy of cracking 
down on freelance armies aiming their sights at Cuba. 

1963 was a summer of discontent for those inalterably committed to the toppling 
of Castro. The Cuban premier had made conciliatory remarks about the ameliorating 
United States attitude. On an ABC television interview with Lisa Howard, for instance, 
he lauded "the stopping of piratical acts against Cuba as "steps in the right direction" of 
improved relations. The United States had responded, and Kennedy was in fact moving 
towards a modus vivendi with Castro. Miss Howard, who had Castro's confidence, was 
acting as a covert envoy of the administration at the same time that Adlai Stevenson was 
talking privately with his Cuban opposite number in the United Nations, Dr. Carlos 

Apparently a detente was near realization when Kennedy met death. In a UN 
speech on October 7, Stevenson raised the possibility of an end to the Cuban-US cold 
war, in effect abandoning the Cuban government-in-exile. In his new book Reds and 
Blacks, former Kennedy official William Attwood reports that "the President more than 
the State Department was interested in exploring [the Cuban] overture," and that a 
clandestine high-level meeting was imminent. On November 19, Presidential Aide 
McGeorge Bundy told Attwood, who was acting as an intermediary, that Kennedy 
wanted to see him after "a brief trip to Dallas." 

Soon after the assassination, Dr. Lechunga said he had been instructed by Castro 
to begin "formal discussions." "I informed Bundy," Attwood says, "and later was told 
that the Cuban exercise would be put on ice for a while - which it was and where it has 
been ever since." 

Since the assassination, the thawing cold war with the Soviet Union has been 
shoved into the background by the new holy war against communism in Southeast Asia. 
This little hot war has enabled the military-industrial complex against which President 
Eisenhower warned to gain ascendency. The hawks of the Pentagon, whose wings barely 
fluttered during the Kennedy epoch, are now in full flight, and the CIA, which Kennedy 
sought to cut down to size, has become an indispensable instrument of US foreign policy 
in Southeast Asia. 

Garrison, Jim 
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page 15 of 15 

There is no more talk of lowering the oil depletion allowance or of investigating 
the controversial TFX contract awarded Convair in Ft. Worth. The Texas oil and 
contracting industries have profited immensely from fueling the war machine and 
building its warehouses and docks. 

No wonder that Garrison, who attributes the assassination to a "powerful 
domestic force," sits at the vortex of that force. Its voice is heard in the swirl of scorn 
and deprecation that has met his efforts. 

But the labeling of Garrison as political opportunist and glory-hound is false. He 
has relayed word to the President, through a Louisiana senator, that he seeks only the 
truth and will step aside to let the FBI make all the arrests and issue the press releases. 
There has been no response, and Johnson continues to devour a daily diet of slanted FBI 
reports, "Progress of the Garrison Investigation," fed him by his old crony J. Edgar 

Recently the phone rang at Garrison's home. A metallic voice warned his wife, 
"You have kids - we'll get them on the way to school." Momentarily frightened, she 
turned to her husband and pleaded, "Jim, don't you think of the kids before you get into 
these things?" "I do," Big Jim said calmly. "I don't want them growing up in a country 
that can't stand the truth." (William W. Turner, Ramparts June 1967, pp. 17-29)